This has been an exciting few weeks for all of us in Iquitos.
A few weeks ago we celebrated one year of living in Iquitos and being together as a team (for us North Americans its been a year and 3 months in Peru).
Last Sunday we had a baptismal service for 3 of our church plants within the city of Iquitos. We baptized 8 people and had a time of food, fellowship, and games. We went to a Christian campground close to the airport, we have a service before we did the baptisms. Heather planned and led the service...in Spanish! The ministry of praise from our Belen church, one of the church plants, led the singing! After the service, we went down the hill to a man-made pool, where we did the baptisms...although, it is a natural pool in the sense that it doesn't have chlorine, so it's a little murky. Kevin helped Pastor Antonio from Central church to do the baptisms.
Last Monday our group celebrated Thanksgiving. It was the only day we were all together, so we celebrated it a few days later than the traditional day. We were able to find a turkey this year, and we had most of the usual foods we are accustomed to in the States! Our Peruvians and the District Superintendent's family got to experience a little of North American tradition and foods. We all had a great time and ate well.
Yesterday, we had more baptisms in the 2 other church plants outside of the city. They baptized one person in Tamshiyacu. Kevin went to Nauta with Abran and Britaldo. Kevin actually baptized 4 people and took in 1 member for the church in Nauta! This time the baptisms were in a river close by to the church!
This week is the last week of ministry in our 40/40's first locations. So this week and next they will be visiting, researching, and making contact with people in their other communities. When we get back from vacation in January, they will begin planting 2 churches together for the rest of our 10 months here.
Speaking of vacations...we all have our vacation coming up in just 10 days! Our family will be in Arkansas from December 16-December 31, in Ohio from December 31-January 3, and then in Massachusetts from January 3-January 16. We are so excited and looking forward to this much needed break. We've been working full-time without any breaks since August of 2009. We can't wait to connect with friends and family, rest, and eat some good ole American food!!! We will be at the Alliance Church of the Nazarene on January 2 speaking in the service and in the Uxbridge Church of the Nazarene on January 9. We hope to see as many of you as we can while we're home.
We thank you so much for all your support through prayer and finances. Through our partnership together there are now 5 new thriving congregations in the Iquitos area of Peru and many lives transformed by the grace of Jesus. We are looking forward to the next ten months after we return from vacation to 10 more new congregations and many more lives transformed by the power of Jesus!